Food for Thought: Mental Health for Dessert

Happy Sunday!

I hope you have had a great day watching football and relaxing at home. I don’t know about you, but I’m super excited for Thanksgiving and spending time with family this week. Whether your Thanksgiving celebration will be grand or small, it’s important to make time for yourself this week — which brings me to today’s Food for Thought.

Have you ever made a promise to yourself that you’ll meditate and journal everyday, or eat healthier foods for your mind and soul, or do more yoga? I know I have. Maybe we start out sticking to our intention for a week, but as soon as life gets in the way, or we get too tired, or it doesn’t feel like we need it anymore, we give up. Working on our mental health becomes the dessert of our day: something we only do if we have room for it.

Source: https://www.skipprichard.com/7-elements-of-leadership-gratitude/

I read something interesting in a book called The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav. Zukav suggests that the real reason we don’t reach our goals is because we don’t have genuine intentions. Yes, maybe we think we want to meditate and journal everyday, but our real intention is to be a top-performer at work (at whatever cost to our time and happiness), or to be liked by others (which leads us to say yes anytime our friends ask us to go out for drinks after work). When our real intention is to be liked or to be the best at what we do, it makes sense that our intention to work on our mental health falls to the wayside.

But we must consistently workout our mental health muscle in order to live healthy, happy, and fulfilling lives. We cannot accomplish all of our goals unless we are okay. If we cannot take care of ourselves, we cannot take care of others. And others aren’t just the people you may live with — your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, or kids. Others is everyone you interact with, including your coworkers, boss, clients, and friends. When you are not okay, people sense it, and you feel it. You eat fruits and vegetables (hopefully) everyday because it’s good for your physical health, so why would the same laws not apply to mental health? Like a muscle, if you don’t use it, it atrophies.

We need to stop making our mental health dessert. I am writing this as someone who is prone to saving my meditation and journaling for when I’m struggling with something or when I have time. But, as I’ve expressed above, this is paradoxical. If we only eat fruits and vegetables when we get sick, we will get sick frequently. The same principles apply to mental health. We don’t only need to treat our minds kindly when we’re sick. We need to consistently work on taking time for ourselves and slowing down, practicing gratitude, and any other techniques that helps us live happy and fulfilling lives. These practices will help us cope with difficult times, and we won’t feel as agitated or setback when life inevitably throws us curveballs.

Let’s stop making mental health dessert, and instead make it the main course. I hope you feel inspired to do something for yourself this week, such as getting into a quiet space and writing down what you’re grateful for.

Let me know what you do for your mental health in the comments below.

Have a great week and a happy Thanksgiving!

xx, Jordan

Jordan’s Top 5 Cups of Coffee in Chicago

Happy Wednesday!

With more and more of my friends moving to Chicago to start new jobs (I’m so excited and happy to have them here!), I’m starting to get questions about the best in Chicago. So today I’m going to start by highlighting my favorite coffee spots in Chicago. I hope you guys check them out!

Sawada Coffee

Sawada is my all-time favorite coffee shop in Chicago. Nestled in the West Loop on Green Street, it is named after Hiroshi Sawada, a world renowned barista and latte art expert. I usually get an iced vanilla latte or a military latte, a matcha latte with espresso, whose fitting name is derived from the latte’s camouflage appearance (or at least that’s what I’ve inferred). Be sure to try an iced military latte to cool off during these hot summer days…and don’t forget to order a melt-in-your-mouth Doughnut Vault doughnut with your coffee (they are my favorite donuts in the city)!

Iced Military Lattes

Limitless Coffee & Tea

Also located in the West Loop (can you tell I have neighborhood bias?), Limitless Coffee & Tea not only offers the cutest and most delicious coffee menu, but also serves drool-worthy bites. Want another reason to check it out? The shop itself is adorable and specifically curated to help you get work done. They even have white boards at some of the high tables to keep you on track while sipping on their energizing brews.

grilled cheese & cortado
peanut butter, banana & coconut toast & iced raspberry latte

La Colombe

Thought there couldn’t be another coffee shop in the West Loop that I love? Think again! La Colombe is another one of my West Loop favs, although they have multiple locations throughout the city. My favorite La Colombe order is the Oat Milk Black & Tan. This tasty and refreshing concoction consists of half cold brew and half oat milk. It’s basically a latte, but made with cold brew instead of espresso (what could be better?!).

Goddess and the Baker

Iced Vanilla Latte & Banana Bread

Goddess is equally known for their amazing meals, treats & coffee. If you haven’t tried their rainbow cake, you NEED to get over there! And if you’re a fan of Instagram-worthy coffees, this is the place for you. Their lattes are equally cute as they are tasty (glitter gold latte, anyone?). Last but not least, there food is just as healthy as it is drool-worthy. I love the caprese omelette for breakfast and the baker’s chopped salad for lunch.

Colectivo

Cappuccino & Scone

Many of you may know Colectivo as a Wisconsin staple, but fortunate for all of my fellow Badgers living in Chicago, this hip coffee joint has several cafes throughout Chicagoland. My favorite of their cafes is the Lincoln Park location, but that’s probably because I haven’t been to any of the others (lol)! This hip spot is only a short walk from my boyfriend’s apartment, so I used to go there almost every weekend before I moved to the West Loop. And for all of my Wicker Park peeps, they recently opened a new location in Wicker! My go-to order at Colectivo (or Tivo as some of us call it) is an iced vanilla latte and a scone or muffin. And for breakfast, I can’t leave without one of their AMAZING breakfast burritos. Just thinking about it has me wanting to scoot my butt over to Colectivo!

If you visit any of these coffee shops, please tag me in your photos with the hashtag #jncoffee. It warms my heart when you guys take my recommendations and end up loving them!

xoxo

Things that we don’t talk about

Although admittedly mysterious (and also the title of this post), things that we don’t talk about have been on my mind lately. Let me give you a little background on why I think this is, and in turn, a glimpse into some of the things we don’t talk about.

Lately, I’ve become really into journaling. At first it felt like something I had to make myself do–a task on my to-do list. Jotting down my thoughts felt futile and honestly a little childish.

However, with disciplined practice, I’ve come to enjoy journaling so much that I’ve been reaching for my journal instinctively (it helps that I ordered a cute little pink one with my name engraved on the soft leather cover). I’ve been journaling almost everyday for over a week now, and it’s had a huge impact on my daily outlook. I had heard the therapeutic benefits of journaling, but I tend to be one of those people that thinks of self-reflection, whether it be journaling, meditation, or spending time alone without any sort of distractions, as a chore more than anything. It’s alarming how afraid I’ve been be to be alone with my thoughts.

I’ve been working on uncovering why this is. During this process, I’ve found that I tend to care more about what other people think of me than I care about what I think of me, which is why I think it’s so hard for me to trust myself and feel comforted in my own head. It’s as if I want some other entity, spirit, or person to validate every single thought, action, and utterance I make.

I’ve been uncovering the layers of this lackluster perception of myself and come to several conclusions. First, this lack of confidence gives me a lot of anxiety, and in rudimentary terms, does not make me feel good. I think we all aspire to be the person that is totally confident in herself and her abilities. The person who can sit for hours with herself and create beautiful things. The person who enjoys going on solo trips around the world.

But that’s not what I’m striving for right now. Right now, I want to be able to wake up everyday and walk around confidently 95% of the time. I’m not striving for perfection, I’m striving for peace. I think that is a big thing we don’t talk about.

I don’t want this desire for confidence to be mistaken with a lack of self-love. That is a whole different and worthy topic to discuss. Some of us know our worth and love ourselves, but it doesn’t translate into how we treat ourselves in our heads. No matter how much potential we think we have, we lack the confidence. It’s almost hard to type that, because in certain facets of my life, I am very confident. For example, I never turn in a project at work and think “Is this good enough? Did I do a good job? Am I good enough?” I’ve always excelled at school and professionally. Therefore, it’s not been something I’ve ever really worried about. I am of the type A class of society that doesn’t need someone to tell me to put my nose to the grindstone.

But in other areas of my life, those areas where there isn’t someone evaluating me, my confidence tends to go down the drain. When I am the evaluator, I do not find myself qualified. This translates into believing that every opinion I have of myself is unqualified, and in turn being riddled with self-doubt.

I do not want to live my life this way. And if you are reading this and can relate, I don’t think you do either.

What I’ve realized on my path to confidence is that believing that you have power, that you have agency, is the best antidote to anxiety and self-doubt. Are you afraid to fly on an airplane? Are you afraid to pursue your passions and find a new job? Are you afraid to put yourself out there, or breakup with a toxic partner? Are you afraid to be left in your own head, a victim of your self-defeating thoughts?

Well, guess what? That can stop RIGHT NOW. Because you are powerful and capable of flying on an airplane. You can quit your job and find a new one that more closely aligns with your passions. You can find someone amazing. You can let go of things that aren’t serving you. RIGHT NOW. No one is going to make you do it. No one is forcing you to leave or stay. But you are strong and are in total control of yourself, and you are capable of writing your own story.

That fear of airplanes? That fear is rooted in your THOUGHTS, not reality. Want to show your thoughts who’s boss? Go fly on an airplane! When you do things you’re afraid of, you show your thoughts who’s really in control.

We often do not realize how powerful we truly are. Everything that we experience, whether outwardly or inwardly, is our choice. Every single day we write the next page in our story. My journal has become the physical manifestation of that.

What will yours be?

6 Easy Steps to Conquering a Spin Class

Happy Monday!

The (warmer) air of a fresh week means a chance to try something new. I’m challenging you to step outside your comfort zone this week and try a new workout.

We all can get stuck in the monotony of an elliptical or treadmill workout to the point that we never want to return to the gym again (ever!). It becomes another item to check off of our often grueling to-do lists.

I’ve found that a good way to stay engaged with my workouts is by attending classes. If you follow me on social media, you may have noticed that I’m a spin class junkie. I used to go to a studio called Cyc in Madison, and now that I live in Chicago, my new go-to is SoulCycle. Nothing compares to the adrenaline rush and getting lost in the beat of a spin class.

Source: https://www.soul-cycle.com/studios/il-chicago-southport/

However, I know that for many of us, including myself, workout classes can be intimidating. But I’ve got you covered! I’m linking here an article that I wrote for HerCampus when I was in college that outlines 6 easy steps to conquering a spin class. Although the article is specific to spin, you can apply the same principles to other workout classes.

Let’s get adventurous this week! Who’s with me?!

Link:
https://www.hercampus.com/school/wisconsin/6-easy-steps-conquering-spin-class

Travel Guide — Santa Monica

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I recently traveled to Santa Monica with my boyfriend, Griffin. We had an amazing time, and I’d highly recommend checking out this beach town if you find yourself in the LA area.

I’ve highlighted a few of my favorites below:

Santa Monica Pier

Pretty much anyone that knows anything about Santa Monica has heard of the Santa Monica Pier. You may need to wedge yourself between a crowd of tourists to navigate this iconic spot, but it’s worth it for the beautiful views of the Pacific coastline. If you’re feeling adventurous (okay maybe adventurous for me and my fellow 5 year olds), the Pier boasts numerous rides. I had loads of fun on the roller coaster with Griffin and our stuffed squirrel Skittity (no questions, please). There are also several bars and restaurants on the Pier, but they are definitely catered toward tourists and not really my style. If I haven’t sold you yet, you need to go to avoid ridicule from anyone who hears that you went to Santa Monica and didn’t go to the Pier. Nuff said?

Hike to Hollywood Sign/Griffith Observatory

Our favorite activity on the trip was hiking up to the Hollywood sign. The trailhead is in Hollywood, so if you’re staying in Santa Monica you definitely need to rent a car. The only downside to driving is that parking is a little stressful at the trailhead…there are basically two directions of traffic crammed into one lane!

Once we parked, it was smooth sailing. There is a map at the trailhead that shows the various paths you can take. We thought we chose a path that would lead us to the Griffith Observatory (which we were told has amazing views of LA) and the Hollywood sign, but we didn’t realize until we were close to the Hollywood sign that we were definitely nowhere near the Griffith Observatory. Alas, our journey ended at the Hollywood sign.

It is mostly an uphill climb, so be sure to wear good walking/hiking shoes, but the views definitely make up for any pain that your legs may endure the next day. On the bright side, the steep incline makes it a great workout. And if you are feeling especially adventurous (and are in shape), we saw several people running along the trail.

The Ivy — Beverly Hills

When I think of LA, I think of stars. From the Kardashians and Real Housewives to George Clooney and Matt Damon, we all want to run into someone famous when we are in LA. One of the best spots for sighting stars (and having a fantastic meal) is The Ivy in Beverly Hills. Unfortunately, we weren’t lucky enough to run into any stars (we went on a Sunday night so I’m putting my money on that), but we still had an unbelievable experience.

We were greeted with a glass of champagne at the door (the only restaurant where I have experienced that) and were casually taken to our table. We sat outside and enjoyed a beautiful night with amazing food and drinks. We shared the calamari to start and both ordered pasta dishes. It’s safe to say, neither of us regretted this decision. And don’t forget to get the red velvet cake because as a wise man once said: there is always room for dessert.

Definitely expect to drop a lot of cash at this swanky restaurant, but it’s worth it in my opinion for an incredible experience.

3rd Street Promenade

Shopping isn’t usually at the top of my list on vacation, but the Promenade in Santa Monica is a must see. There is an abundance of stores, many of which we don’t have in Chicago. To be specific, I was really excited to see that they have an Alo Yoga store (come to Chicago, Alo!).

Whether you’re just perusing and window shopping, or ready to shop till you drop, it’s the perfect car-free area for a stroll.

Demitasse Coffee

If you’re anything like me, you always scout out a cute coffee shop (or maybe a few) on vacation. One of my favorite things to do in a new city is find the best cup of coffee. After trying several places, Demitasse was definitely our favorite.

The shop itself is super green (as in environmentally, even for California standards), cute, and cozy. I got an iced latte both times we went and it was one of the best I’ve ever had. An added perk is that it’s close to SoulCycle (yay!).

Little Ruby

If you’re looking for a cute and tasty brunch spot in Santa Monica, Little Ruby is calling your name. Its Aussie vibes and striped straws put it on cuteness level 1,000. I got the banana bread with passion fruit jam and Griffin ordered the chicken sandwich. We both really enjoyed our food, and the coffee was top-notch as well. And if you need a cute pic for the gram, Little Ruby is the spot.

And there ya have it: my favorite sights and bites from Santa Monica. I hope that you check out these spots, and be sure to let me know if you do!

xx

Redefining the Go-Getter

This post is dated 9/2/16 and was taken from my old blog.

I’m so happy that fall is in the air and it is finally cooing down. Fall is my favorite season, not only because it contains my birthday, but because it marks the return of some long-missed pastimes. Football, pumpkin spice lattes/pumpkin patches/pumpkin everything, that crunchy sound leaves make when you jump in them, etc. Of course, it also marks the exponential growth of every girl’s level of basic, so boys, prepare yourselves. 

On a more serious note, I’ve also learned over the past week that the “go-getter” that we all admire and aspire to be has been causing many of us, including myself, to hold ourselves to unrealistic standards.

Specifically, I’ve been struggling to fulfill an obligation within my sorority. Being a respected member of my chapter and fulfilling all of my obligations is one of the most important aspects of my life. I live everyday with the intention of being the best sister and friend I can be. 

However, recently I’ve struggled to fulfill an obligation due to my health (my dysautonomia) and as a result I’ve had a pretty stressful internal battle of whether to push through and be the go-getter or to relinquish this obligation. 

Every time I thought about getting out of my commitment, I felt like I would be viewed as a weak person, and I had a hard time not seeing myself in the same way. I felt like I was a failure and would lose all of the respect and approval of my sorority sisters. 

What I’ve learned from the days of suffering through this battle is that it shouldn’t have been a battle in the first place. 

If your mental and/or physical health and stability are at risk for any reason, you NEED to stop and take a step back and access the situation. I realized that yes, stepping out of my obligation does set the chapter back to a certain extent, but I cannot be a value-adding member of my chapter at all if I am not okay myself. 

After finally stepping out of this obligation, I’ve learned that it was an opportunity for growth.

Being a go-getter does not mean you are weak when you are not able to fulfill a commitment. 

Even though my example involved women, this is not a gender-specific issue. I would say it is even more important to be able to be vulnerable in the face of men. As women, we often feel especially strong pressure to prove ourselves to men, to prove that we are “just as strong and driven”. Although this is complete bullshit, it’s the world we live in and we cannot pretend that sexism has been eradicated, even among our generation.

Go-getters are people who are strong enough to acknowledge their needs and respond to them in a way that allows them to lead happy and successful lives. Being vulnerable is not a weakness, but a strength, and that is something we need to be teaching our children in order to raise a physically and mentally stronger generation. 

Peace and love on this beautiful day,

— Jordan 

The Unknown

For some people the unknown can evoke feelings of excitement, but for most of my life the unknown has induced one feeling: fear.

Throughout the majority of my academic years, my body would fill with gripping anxiety before every test. At the starting line of every cross country and track meet in high school I was filled with stress and doubt about whether I would let my team down. Most detrimental for me, the thought of gaining weight during the years I had anorexia was equivalent to the end of the world; it signified a complete loss of self-worth in my eating disorder gripped mind. To say the least, fear ruled my life for most of my middle and high school years, and it almost managed to take over my college experience.

I thought that listening to my fearful thoughts and preparing for the worst would always guard me against the dangers that seemed to lurk around every corner. If I was mentally prepared for failing a test, I wouldn’t be as devastated if it happened. If I believed that every guy I dated was using me or that “all men are immature assholes” I wouldn’t be hurt when things didn’t work out.

But my wakeup call came when I realized that fear itself was killing me.

My eating disorder had stripped me of everything that made me who I am. Food didn’t bring me enjoyment, I had trouble maintaining friendships, I was often horrible to my family, and I was stripped of all passion for life.

For anyone that knows me now, that can seem shocking. Most would describe me as a pretty outgoing and bubbly person, and I am extremely passionate about certain things, the environment particularly (and obvi squirrels).

I was able to take control of my life and become the person that I am proud to be because, as counter-tintuivitive as it may sound, I leaned into fear.

When I got over the fear of looking ugly if I gained weight, I realized how disillusioned that fear had made me. I feel one thousand times more confident and beautiful now that I nourish my body and soul. I feel much less anxious when taking tests because I know that my grade on one exam does not define my self-worth. I can go on a date and not constantly think about how I am being perceived or if I think it will go anywhere because I don’t fear the unknown like it’s a snarling bear sprinting towards me.

When you lean into fear instead of pushing against it with all your might, you have a certain faith in yourself and the universe that is unbreakable. You are acknowledging that you are stronger than anything you encounter on a daily basis, and you emit a light that makes you, in my opinion, one of the most attractive people.

Fear is darkness, and by letting it control your life you too become darkness. But acknowledging it for what it is and still stepping into the unknown is the only way to grow and glow as a person and a soul.

As one of my favorite mantras states: Be the light.

— Jordan

Abundance

This post is dated 8/13/16 and was taken from my old blog.

We live in an abundant world, in an abundant universe. We have been blessed with abundance. Of life, of earth, of resources, of food…of happiness. However, we live in a society that prides itself on restriction, on self-control. We are told that the strongest are those who withhold. Sometimes, such restraint is necessary. It probably wouldn’t be wise to chop down every tree we wanted, even if market demand was over the charts for paper products. We probably wouldn’t feel good if we ate an entire chocolate cake in one sitting (although under certain circumstances, such as the death of your dog or suddenly being dumped by asshole X, eating an entire cake may be an extremely therapeutic activity).

But I take issue with withholding.

When we were babies, the idea of withholding did not make sense to us, especially the idea of “self-restraint”. When we wanted something, we cried and cried until our mommies and daddies gave it to us. We had no conception of self-control because taking from the abundance of life made us happy, and happiness was our goal. But as we grew, we learned that withholding meant strength, and it would help us get to the top. It would make us the best athlete, the most beautiful, the smartest, the most powerful.

Aspiring is good and well, but aspiring for greatness does not have to be synonymous with restriction. To restrict is to make smaller, to make weaker. Abundance is to have enough, to have more than you need. It is unabashed greatness.

When we restrict, we make ourselves smaller. We don’t always physically shrink, but we leave a hole inside ourselves that constantly wants to be filled. When we withhold, we cannot be completely happy in the present moment. We are living for some distant aspiration that may or may not come to us, while sacrificing our current state of being. And to top it off, withholding from ourselves has taught us to withhold from others.

We need this to stop. We can choose to give ourselves what we want. We DESERVE IT. Make this your new mantra. Stop telling yourself you “don’t deserve it” like a broken record. If you want something, go after it and take it, but don’t strip yourself of your present happiness in the process. Reaching the summit is only worthwhile if you enjoyed the journey.

So relish every breath, stop and smell the flowers, listen to the song of the birds, and put each foot in front of the other with purpose. And when you reach the top of the mountain, you can look down on your life in awe, knowing you already made it when you took the first step. You made it because you were happy, and happiness means success.  

— Jordan

Pretty Boxes

This post is dated 7/19/16 and was taken from my old blog.

As I sit underneath a tree behind my house, soaking in the warm summer sun, I’ve been able to be completely present, a seemingly simple act that is often a great feat.

I watch a beautiful leaf on a branch above me and take in its purity, its innocence, its unbreakable authenticity. This leaf did not choose to be itself. It grew, and it was.

It made me reflect on my own life.

I came into the world just like the leaf. I was born myself, unique from all others. But different from this leaf, I’ve often wandered away from myself. At times, I’ve chosen to portray myself as someone I am not. I have learned to put myself into a pretty box, so that the eager box-opener sees whatever he or she wants to see. As I reflect deeper, I see myself doing this more with the men in my life than with other women, and I wonder why.

And still gazing at the leaf, I find my answer.

It’s quite simple. I am not a pretty box.

I don’t want to go on a rant about how men treat women these days, because I don’t blame men for making women this way. We as women give men power over us. We sit there like doting puppies (trying not to present ourselves this way to the men in our lives, of course) waiting for them to give us attention, give us love, give us their seal of approval that we are good enough.

So we sit, and we wait. But still we are unfulfilled. Because we are consuming all of our time and energy trying to make someone love us who maybe never will. We believe as long as we are investing in that relationship, as long as we are still climbing the mountain on our quest for love, we have not given up on ourselves.

But in that journey, we have forgotten why we left, who we are, what we want in life. We have escaped the present and are living a future that we cannot even see. We have turned ourselves from humans into pretty boxes.

This is a slight digression, but relevant to the point I am trying to make. I think people are brought into our lives to teach us lessons. Specifically, my first boyfriend taught me the most in terms of what I want in a relationship and what love means. I would say he’s the least attractive of my former boyfriends (I hope he’s not reading this), but he made my world and mind expand infinitely in a way that no other boy I have dated or been in a relationship with has been able to do since. I’ve realized that I need that mind-pudding effect in a relationship in order to be happy and authentic. We could talk openly about anything and everything, from the latest episode of Breaking Bad to income inequality in America. He taught me how to have a voice, how to have an opinion, how to argue. He taught me how to be a woman, how to take up space and not be ashamed of that. But he also taught me how to listen, because I did not always agree with his beliefs and contentions (he probably doesn’t like to think about the time when something he said seemed so immoral to me that I refused to talk to him whilst riding in the car through the Grand Canyon together). But even in my enraged immaturity, I still loved him for staying true to his beliefs. When I was with him, I did not give in to please him. I was not a pretty box.

Digression over.

This is not a narrative of a need for love, but a need for the right kind of love. An authentic love that only makes stronger the love that already exists for our true selves.

And in this moment, I’ve vowed to never lose myself, even if I wander. I am not a pretty box, I am a light that was put on this earth to shine, to guide, to love.

I am not very religious, but I am an extremely spiritual person. I believe God is light, God is love, God is nature, God is us, and God is everything we are capable of perceiving or comprehending. I breathe in and breathe out God, and in that act alone, I become light, love, and connected to everyone and everything. And that single thought alone can bring me to tears.

I am not a pretty box. I am the moon and the sun and the stars.

— Jordan

The Pursuit of Perfection

This post is dated 7/17/16 and was taken from my old blog.

We live in a society where we are bombarded by images of “perfection”. We are spoon-fed society’s ideals on the daily, whether it be on TV, the big screen, in our favorite magazines, and even on our own phones. But we have two choices: to try to conform to this vision of “perfect” or to whole-heartedly embrace who we are and what we believe in.


As a woman, the pressure to succumb to the former is ever stronger. With social media apps like Instagram providing a continuous feed of “perfect” models, singers, actresses, oh and let’s not forget our friends, it’s hard not to whimper away into a corner every once in a while in a pity party of self-doubt.


But that is not what this society needs. By feeling inadequate and succumbing to this elephant on our chests, because I would contend the pressure can feel that strong at times, we are feeding the machine. We are showing that we as women are weak, that we were made for man’s enjoyment, and that no amount of intellect, wit, or humor can ever change the fact that we are simply a piece of ass.


I lived years of my life believing that if I maintained a certain waist size, I was a strong woman who could be seen as beautiful. No matter what else was going on in my life, I always could fall back on the fact that I was thin, so what else really mattered right? Men would still find me attractive, and isn’t that my goal in life as a woman?


But boy was I wrong. I was feeding my ego. I was allowing myself to believe the opposite of what is true: that looking “perfect” meant strength. That starving myself, fucking up my hormones, and being a real prick to the people that loved me meant strength.


But somehow I was able to dig myself out of the dark disillusioned hole I was living in and see the light. And I am never going back.


Being a free, independent, smart, considerate, creative, and compassionate spirit is what this world needs. If you happen to also have a Barbie doll physique at the same time, then props to you sugar plum. But trying to change yourself to meet this unrealistic societal ideal of perfection will never, I repeat NEVER, make you happy. Your inner light will always fight back, and a deeper hole will exist inside you until you give into your True north.


So ladies, men, whoever and whatever you are, be your authentic selves, and the world will drop to its knees in awe of your light. As Holden Caulfield would say, we don’t need any more phonies.


Several years ago I started writing a novel (you are permitted to chuckle), but bits and pieces of it still resonate with me. So I’ll leave you with this:

“Sometimes I feel like freedom is what we lack most in our lives. Cage a bird and it will live it’s whole life believing it can’t fly, that’s it’s worthless. But let it free and it will soar high and sing songs of liberty. That’s what I think when I hear people say or do wrong. They don’t have the freedom to see they can do right.”

You have the freedom to be the amazing, creative person that you are. Many of us cage ourselves and deprive ourselves of this freedom. 

Choose to soar high, even if the wind is blowing against you.

— Jordan